On view through May 19
Opening Reception: April 25, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Through this colorful and expressive selection of works curated by SECCA's Wendy Earle, artist Chad Beroth offers you an intimate glimpse into his life and thoughts, as he explores the balance between fatherhood, personal relationships, and life as a working artist.
Chad Beroth was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. I sure was. The first line of my bio was written by a very talented writer who traded me a well written professional bio for a painting of her cat. It was an excellent bio. I learned a lot about myself in reading it—where I was born, where I went to school, awards I've won, galleries and museums where my art has been shown. My art resides in at least eight countries, and in every state in the US except Wyoming. It was a very informative bio—everything a good biography should be. Yet all that went through my mind when I read it was that damn cat painting, and the fact that she wrote it 6 years ago, and I still have no art in Wyoming (Maybe this year, Wyoming?).
I didn't feel my professional bio—the born here, went to school here, works and lives here facts and information explained well enough who I am as an artist. So I decided to chop up my bio and mix it in with my artist statement—the bio portion growing smaller with each rewrite, until this one here, where it's been reduced to only it's first line.
Yes, I was born. Yes, I went to school. Yes, I work. But for me, my art career started when I was a toddler. That old cliché, "I learned to paint before I learned to walk." is true in my case. My father taught me to draw and paint well before I started walking. He took me to museums and galleries, and he showed me art books and art documentaries, and he watched Bob Ross make landscapes with me on PBS.
One memory in particular that stands out to me, was my father stopping the car on the side of the road in Hartford, Connecticut, so he could show me a painting that somebody did on the side of an apartment building. It was a neighborhood filled with drug dealers and gang members. There were syringes and crack vials on the ground. I thought we were going to be killed. And there was my father, staring up at this graffiti-covered mural, completely oblivious of his surroundings. Eventually, some of the teenagers in the neighborhood, covered in gang colors, walked over to talk to my father. For about a half hour. They talked about art.
We had just left an art museum in Hartford where I watched my father talk to a man in a business suit about art for about a half hour, the same way he talked to the gang members on the side of the road. Art was art to my father. It didn't matter where it came from, what it was made of, or who made it.
My father passed away a few years ago, but I still try to follow in his footsteps and pass his appreciation and understanding on to my own kids as well.
I practice my craft daily, but I'm a fan and an admirer of art first. I look at art every day, and I never let its origin influence my opinion or appreciation when I'm looking at it. When I work, I try to mean it every time. I paint what I think and feel. I paint what means most to me. Sometimes people like it and they buy it, so I can keep working. Sometimes I take the work home with me, and yes, every so often, when art sales aren't too great, I'll paint someone's cat too.
There's a Vincent van Gogh quote that I feel sums me up better than most of the art bios I've submitted to galleries and museums in my 29 years of being a working artist. "For the moment, the work's going well, but of course my thoughts, always fixed on colors and drawings, continue to go around in a rather small circle. So I want to live by the day—trying to get from one to the next." - Vincent van Gogh
I was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. For the last 13 years, I have lived and worked as an artist in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Art is what I do. It's who I am. It's my life. Sometimes it's a great life and sometimes I starve like all artists do, but either way, I love what I do, and like Vincent, I'm happy to go around in my small circles, fixed on color, living day by day—trying to get from one to the next.
And thankfully, for the moment at least, the work is going well.
- Chad Beroth